Thursday, 02 September 2021 08:28

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The Presidency says President Cyril Ramaphosa is acting upon referrals made by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) regarding implicated individuals for disciplinary action.

The Presidency confirmed in July that had received a report and referral on the Digital Vibes matter from the SIU.

At the time, the Presidency stated its commitment to keep the public informed about developments in this matter, "in a manner that preserves information that may be or become the subject of prosecution, civil action or disciplinary proceedings".

In the interests of fairness and in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act – and as a result of a number of applications to have sight of the report – the Presidency said it had sent third-party notices to all persons or entities referred to in the report, so they may have an opportunity to object to its publication or part thereof.

"Each of them will receive the information they require to enable them to make their decision as it affects their own interests," said the Presidency in a statement on Wednesday.

"The SIU also made a number of referrals to the Presidency regarding specific individuals for disciplinary action. These referrals are being acted upon."

The Special Tribunal said the SIU's review application regarding Digital Vibes’ R150 million contract awarded by the Department of Health has not been enrolled yet.

This comes after the SIU appeared before Parliament’s standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) on Wednesday to give an update on its personal protective equipment (PPE) tender fraud investigations.

During the meeting, the SIU revealed that it would apply for a case management in the Digital Vibes matter this month.The investigating unit also wants a preservation order totalling R266 million imposed on Digital Vibes and 11 others.

Meanwhile rigged tender processes and undue political pressure resulted in the national Department of Health (NDoH) paying controversial communications firm Digital Vibes R141 million, while a more experienced firm was R72 million cheaper.

National Treasury (NT) tried to block the irregular contract when it refused to sign off on deviations and raised concerns about specific bidders.

According to the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), senior NDoH officials bent over backwards to ensure Digital Vibes was awarded the lucrative contract.